The Miami Marlins have reportedly signed left hander Chris Narveson and outfielder Cole Gillespie to minor league deals. A tweet by MLB Insider Chris Cotillo, announced that according to Matt Eddy, Baseball America editor, Miami signed both players to add to a day of numerous minor league transactions throughout baseball.
Chris Narveson was a mid-rotation starter for the Brewers in 2010 and 2011. He made 28 starts both years and accomplished winning records. In 2010, he pitched to an ERA just under five. He improved in 2011, as he posted a 4.45 ERA winning 11 games and loosing 8. He only started two games in 2012 and pitched two innings out of the bullpen the following year. Narveson pitched in a different environment in 2013. Due to injury derails, Narveson signed with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Japan. He started 24 games pitching to a 4.53 and earning a record of 4-11.
This past Monday, The Swallows elected to not put Narveson on their reserve list, making him a free agent. Narveson, who turns 33 later on this month is looking for a bounce back campaign back in the United States. The Marlins did bring back a player from Japan a year ago in Casey McGehee, and that turned out to be a great decision. McGehee won the NL Comeback Player of The Year award and had a surprisingly successful season for the fish at third base. Can the Marlins make the left hander another successful comeback Japan story?
Another interesting move the Marlins made Saturday was signing outfielder Cole Gillespie. The 30 year old, right handed hitting outfielder, has jumped around between the minors and the majors since making his debut with Arizona in 2010. That year he hit .231 in a small sample size of 104 AB. From 2011-2013 he did not play much at the major league level, splitting his time with San Francisco and Chicago in 2013 and only getting a total of 59 AB.
Jun 4, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Cole Gillespie (16) hits a one-run RBI against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
This past season Gillespie got some playing time with the Settle Mariners. He hit .234 in 34 games and played really solid defense. Gillespie is no power threat at the plate and his average in the Majors has not been satisfying. He has proven he can hit minor league pitching, hitting a combined .293 at that level. Most of his years in AAA he hit over .300 and has proven to be an above average defender. Gillespie can be added to fill an extra outfield spot after losing Reed Johnson.
These are not considered “big moves” for a Miami team that has yet to make splash this off-season. These two signings are players whose track records have not been great but the talented coaching staff for the Marlins can lead these players into the right direction. Both can get invitations to spring training, and will have much to prove to make the roster in 2015.